With the increasing number of cases of Lyme disease, and the number of ticks, it is natural to be concerned, especially when you are pregnant. Indeed, ticks can transmitseveral viruses and bacteria responsible for diseases like Lyme disease, the encephalitis, the hemorrhagic fevers and some rickettsioses. Every bite does not necessarily cause illness, but should be considered suspicious.
The two main assets you have are a immune system strong, thanks to a balanced lifestyle, and bite protection. Even though the preventive measures are the same for each individual, there are a few additional precautions for pregnant women. When taking a walk in the countryside, or even in a simple garden, here are the right things to do:
- get yourself a tick puller, available in pharmacies, to intervene quickly;
- wear long, light-colored clothes, which tighten the wrists and ankles, and closed shoes;
- protect your head and your neck ;
- after the walk, examineminutely your body.
Choosing the right tick products
If some parts of your body are exposed, it is recommended to use skin and clothing repellents, but these products are contraindicated in pregnant women and children, recalls the site of health insurance. The good news is that there are effective insect repellants based on essential oils. Be careful, however: these are not harmless substances, and should be used sparingly. If in doubt, do not hesitate to seek advice from a specialist and ask your pharmacist or doctor any questions.
According to the site Mind Body Green, the essential oils of pink geranium, of lemongrass and of lavender can be used during pregnancy. However, lemongrass is not recommended during the last trimester, as it can cause contractions. Sage, peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils should be avoided throughout pregnancy. If you want to use a chemical repellant, opt for a version containing less than 20% DEET, avoid putting on too much, wash your hands after application and take a shower at the end of the day.
And if, despite your precautions, a tick bites you, don’t panic. Use a suitable clamp, or go to the pharmacy as soon as possible to extract it from the skin, watch for symptoms and contact your doctor if you notice any signs of the disease 3 to 30 days after the tick bite. Antibiotic treatment is contraindicated during pregnancy, but other drugs can help you.